Note: For help with your artist’s website, check out The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Artist’s Website.
Creating amazing artwork should always be the top priority of any artist, and I know a lot of artists who think that if they create their art, and throw it on a website, their work is done.
But they are overlooking an important part of the process: engaging and interacting with their website visitors (i.e. potential customers)
If your website is “read-only”, offering visitors no way to start a conversation, you risk alienating people, and losing their interest.
If you interact with your visitors, and give them a way to connect with you, they will feel like they know you a bit better, and you are establishing a relationship with them, which builds trust and makes them more likely to stick around and become loyal fans.
Here are 3 simple ways you can engage with people on your artist’s website:
Allowing visitors to leave comments on your blog posts is a great way to establish relationships (you do have a blog, right?)
People love to think that their opinion matters, so giving them the opportunity to express themselves on your blog will make them feel like you are interested in what they have to say, which will make them feel good.
Even better, if you reply to a comment left on your site, then you have formed a relationship with that person, and they will feel like they have a connection with you. I recommend replying to every comment, even if it’s just to say thanks (it helps if you mention them by name.)
And it’s not only blog posts that can benefit from comments. I recommend allowing people to comment directly on each image in your gallery.
Not only is this a great way to engage with visitors, but it also has certain benefits when it comes to search engines, as Google’s Matt Cutts explains:
It seems like everyone should know this by now, but I still see so many artists with absolutely zero social media presence.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, are all about engagement, and they provide a way for fans to connect with you on a more personal level.
Use Facebook and Twitter to post things you might not want to publish on your main site, such as works-in-progress, behind the scenes photos, or just general thoughts and questions. You’ll be surprised how many responses you get just by asking a question on Facebook, and you can build relationships with each person who replies.
Email is by far the best way of engaging with your fans, as they are much more likely to read something sent directly to their inbox, than something which they have to actively go and read somewhere online.
So in order to send people emails directly, you need a way to collect their email addresses (and get their permission for you to email them).
If you don’t already have a mailing list (or newsletter, if you prefer), I would suggest you go and set one up today. You can get a free account from Mailchimp, set up your list, and get a form on your website within about 15 minutes.
What you email people about is another matter, which we’ll come to another time, but getting the form on your site to start collecting addresses is the important first step.
9 More Ways to Revive Your Artist’s Website
Are you engaging with your website visitors?
This is one of the questions on my new report – Revive Your Artist’s Website – a 10-point checklist for making sure your site is web-worthy.
The report is free for people who subscribe to email updates from Right Brain Rockstar. To get instant access to the 20-page report, just enter your email address in the box below. (If you’re already a subscriber, just re-enter the address you subscribed with for instant access. Don’t worry, you won’t be double-subscribed or anything.)
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Let me know if you find the report useful, and if you have anything to add, please leave a comment below.